I fell over last week.

No, not the fall you have because you are elderly and doddery (I hope), but the type of fall you have when you lose balance because you are overstepping the bounds of ability, skill, common sense and physical prowess.

I was out hedging.

Trimming the hedges we have at home is a bit of a day long task. You see, we have hedges in rectangles, hedges in flowing cloud shapes and hedges shaped into balls. We have hedges that are easy to access, others much harder. Some hedges I can bend down and care for, whereas others require me to use an extension handle on the trimmers to reach up and shape the top flat.

I have recently upgraded my trusty petrol-powered Stihl hedge trimmer, to a much lighter battery powered Makita hedge trimmer for the less dense hedges. The ever resourceful me has also ‘modified’ the new electric trimmer so I can override the safety switch and can now use it one handed; thus allowing me to be more efficient in reaching those hard to reach areas without the inconvenience of getting a ladder and securing my safety!

Yep, you can see where this story is going can’t you. 

Whilst doing my best impersonation of a praying mantas, who has had a few to many insect feasts, I was (in my mind) balancing so wonderfully well, over a metre off the ground: one foot on a rock, the other on a branch and with my arm extended in a similar pose to the Statue of Liberty holding up the torch and flame. All the while having the hedge trimmer whirring away unchecked because of my ‘oh so clever’ modifications!

I am pleased to share that my resultant fall has provided no injury, other than to my pride. All toes and fingers are accounted for, bruising was minor and no skeletal issues are apparent. But, of course, I have not told my wife… until now.

Balance is an intriguing concept. Balance infers intentionality. Balance suggests harmony, alignment and cohesion. All elements that I was clearly lacking. Balance belongs in all facets of our life: extremism rarely, if ever, delivers healthy outcomes for mind, body and soul. In fact, the scriptures speak of this: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 talks about all things in their time, Ephesians 5:15 tells us to walk wisely and 2 Timothy 1:7 lets us know that discipline is important – all of which paints a picture of balance.

Relevant? Sure is.

Operating at the edges, pushing boundaries with no care for collateral cost, not acknowledging the present, as the launchpad for the next, ignoring signs of stress, pain or damage and proceeding regardless; all these are unbalanced practices. Without going all ‘zen-like’ on you, it is not only the Christian message that speaks of balance, of harmony and of alignment. I am sure each of us in our own humanity, know exactly what it feels like, how we act and behave, when our world, our experience of life, is unbalanced.

So take a moment this weekend, pause, and do a ‘balance assessment’ on your life. If you get a sense that something in your life is unbalanced, then it is unbalanced; and it is time for you to do something about it. I believe sincerely that God has given us an intuition, a link with the Divine via the Holy Spirit to prayerfully KNOW. So ask God to help you gain a sense of your ‘balance’ and then respond. 

Don’t make my mistake of trying to ‘hack’ my way through imbalance and end up falling: stop, reassess and put in place the right responses to avoid the inevitable fall.


This word of encouragement for Christian educators was written by Dean Bennetts, and distributed in The Bridge newsletter in 2023. Dean is the CEO of Adventist Education in North New South Wales, Australia.